Art Factory


The project reorganises the buildings and territory of the Badaevsky Brewery aims to create  a cultural and theater complex in its place. At the moment the territory is not used, despite the fact that it is located in an area with a high standard of living and is a popular tourist destination with developed infrastructure.

Within the framework of the reconstruction, it’s supposed that the historical facades of the complex will be almost completely preserved, their strengthening and superstructure of the theatre part on a new basis. It was also decided to reorganize the adjacent territory and create a pedestrian public space connected by a bridge to the opposite bank of the Moscow River. Theatre complex is inserted in the volumes of the former factory buildings and includes a Philharmonic for 900 seats, a drama theater for 700 and a theater of opera and ballet for 800 seats.

The first floor of the complex, according to the idea, is public and permeable, a kind of covered city square. It was decided to visually open the space of holds and the art complex for visitors so that through familiarity with the device of the theater popularize art among the masses. A large part of the whole complex is turned into a kind of foyer, where people can watch performances, get acquainted with the theater world and even participate in separate events.

Both the preserved and the erected facades are designed in such a way as to give visitors the most successful views of the river and Kutuzovsky Prospekt, while at the same time preserving and accentuating historical tectonics. The halls also interact differently with the spectator and with the city – the opera is part of the theater flowing around it, the dramatic one – stands out from the building and is located on the border of the inner and outer spaces, linking them, while the Philharmonic due to the transparent shell and complex form is an active part of the city panorama.

The goal of all these transformations is the creation of a cultural center that could attract and cultivate a vast variety of visitors, from avid theatergoers to those who only get acquainted with the theater world. Preservation of historical buildings and rethinking their function is that not only preserves the cultural and historical code of the place but also enriches the urban fabric, reinterpreting old meanings and giving birth to new ones.


Who influences you graphically?

While creating our project we were influenced by many modern graphics masters. For instance, representative style of graphical representation of famous architectural practices such as Sanaa and Bow Wow. Moreover, we experience a strong influence of Archigram, MVRDV, OMA and Steve Hall architects.

What defined the language of representation of the project?

The way of representation of the project derived from the desire to outline the most important parts of reconstruction design. Three volumes of halls of the dram theatre, opera/ballet theatre and the concert hall were painted in bright colors such as bronze, gold and red respectively. The rest of the reconstruction was done in a very careful way using the soft color palette and natural textures of preserved historic parts of the building. That allowed us to create a distinctive atmosphere in each of the buildings reflected in our interior images. What about drawing’s graphic style, we managed to make it very clear, fine and very detailed in comparison with the facade and 3d views.

What dictated the use of 3d printed model – why this method of production/ modeling compared to others?

The 3d printing method is not common for Moscow Institute of Architecture, that’s why when we got to know that a new 3d printing laboratory opened in Moscow we decided that it was a great opportunity to create our models. In addition, the forms were that complex that 3d printing was the most accurate way to create the model in the exact shape we have been thinking about.
Moreover, keeping the idea of a factory during the whole project, the approach of automizing all the processes of creation was crucial. Although, the process of 3D-printing was rather time-consuming so we could observe the machines working on our forms for almost two weeks.

What roles/possibilities does 3d printing hold as the architectural tool?

Nowadays, there are several technologies of 3d printing. Despite the fact that architectural modeling process becomes more and more automized, the greatest advantage of it is that it gives the possibility to work with complex forms and curvy shapes keeping the level of accuracy really high, what would have been almost impossible using any other method (modeling with clay or cutting the sections for example). As the architectural processes become significantly affected by all the new high-tech technologies, we believe that 3d printing technologies will be constantly upgraded and commonly used in different ways.

How did you develop the architectural form?

The approach to complicated forms of theatre halls and interiors can be divided into three methods. The sphere had to be a clear and strong shape, bringing the order and compositional direction into the diverse ensemble of theatre cluster. The shape of the concert hall was inspired by the idea of heart and living organism in its complexity and beauty. The volume of opera hall has to represent the shape of its interior, designed according to the requirements of acoustics, serving not only functionally, but also metaphorically.
All of these shapes were then developed using the most convenient 3D-modeling program – Rhino.

What is your take on the contemporary state of preservation where according to Rem Koolhaas ‘it is overtaking us’?

That was one of the guiding ideas during our work. Proposing the renovation of a large territory which belongs to an old factory our main aim was to avoid nostalgic reconstructions of the past and demystifying the ‘sacred’ image of a historical building, unlocking its potential as a major destination and vantage point for citizens. We strongly believe in an opinion that if the building is not able to reborn in its function or get a worthy substitution, then sooner or later it will become an inhabitant island in the urban fabric.

How does the retaining of the facade preserve any of the qualities of the actual building? How authentic is this approach to preservation?

The facade of Former Badaev’s factory preserves and illustrates its history since the moment of its erection. Therefore, this part of the building is associated with the factory and its image, and it was vital to preserve exactly this element of the edifice. The characteristic interior parts of the building were also kept intact in order to preserve the narrative of the place. However, most of the interior in poor condition is planned to be replaced with contemporary structure.

To what extent has the notion of cultural institution become a global generic typology implemented as a means to achieve the Bilbao effect?

We think that some of architectural hints and methods can be taken into account and used at other location and probably in an altered form, though remaining more or less the same in terms of achieving its goal – attracting attention and spreading culture among the people. Probably, this effect is used rather often during last decade, but we believe its effectiveness depends on the place, the mentality and sophistication of people. We suppose that in the case of the Art factory we managed to keep the balance between using this effect and being respectful and sensitive to the spirit of the place.